CRIME writer Donna Leon’s love affair with the sinking city of Venice helps invest all her books with a vivid descriptive power that makes you long to catch the first flight to this eeriest of floating kingdoms.
Leon also possesses, in Commissario Guido Brunetti, a genuinely human cop, battling against bureaucracy. He has recognisable frailties (self-doubt is high on the list) who fears nothing save the religious earthquakes that threaten his own family circle.
Away from home and hearth, the waters continue to devour, the labyrinthine alleys flicker with threatening shadows and a paediatrician’s baby son is snatched by armed men.
Brunetti uncovers a story of infertility, desperation and an underworld in which babies can be bought for cash.
Coupled with this, there is a money-making scam between pharmacists and doctors in the city.
A good solid, satisfying book. Next stop, Venice.